Matt Vierling powers Tigers past Pirates 8-0 in opener

Matt Vierling hit a three-run homer for a second straight game, Tarik Skubal tossed seven strong innings, and the host Detroit Tigers rolled past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-0, in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon.

Vierling, who had three hits and drove in four runs, smacked a game-winning, three-run homer in a 14-11 Detroit victory over Toronto on Sunday. Riley Greene contributed two hits and scored two runs.

Skubal (7-1) limited the Pirates to three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in seven innings. Mason Englert completed the shutout as Detroit won its fourth straight.

Pirates starter Jared Jones (3-5) allowed seven runs (five earned) and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

A postponement on Tuesday due to inclement weather led to the teams playing a straight doubleheader.

Wenceel Perez led off the bottom of the first with a triple to right-center field, sparking a three-run inning. Vierling brought him home with a single. Vierling advanced to third on Greene’s single and scored on Mark Canha’s sacrifice fly.

Following an error by third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes on a Gio Urshela bouncer, Greene scored on Colt Keith’s fielder’s choice grounder.

Pittsburgh had two baserunners in the second as Hayes walked and Yasmani Grandal singled. Skubal then struck out Michael A. Taylor and induced Alika Williams to fly out.

Jones retired nine consecutive batters until Jake Rogers drew a one-out walk in the fifth. Perez then hit a bouncer and second baseman Nick Gonzales tried to tag Rogers. The ball was jarred loose and both runners were safe.

Vierling then ripped a slider over the left field wall for his sixth homer to make it 6-0.

The Tigers didn’t stop there. Greene ended Jones’ day with a double. Luis L. Ortiz replaced Jones and gave up singles to Canha and Urshela, allowing Greene to score.

Detroit added another run in the sixth when Javier Baez reached on a two-base error by Ortiz and scored on Rogers’ single.